Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In the land of Red, White, and Granite.

My late summer roadtrip has officially commenced, I'm in Squamish, and everything is going swimmingly. The mellow feel of this self-proclaimed "Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada" is just the sort of atmosphere into which I can immerse myself, ignoring all outside happenings.

Good friends, new and old, are in residence in this centre of granite action, and much climbing, beer drinking, scrabble, shooting-of-the-shit, and all-around chilling has been enjoyed by all.

In Canada, by law, all signs must be printed in both English and French.

The view from our camp "down by the river". Kevin gives Bronson the layout of the Chief.

Cody, who I met back in Boulder in the Spring, is joining all the cool kids in Canada at the moment. Here, Cody, Loki, and Kathleen enjoy a post-cragging snack.

This and the rest of the photos are from yesterday, when Cody and I climbed until out eyes bugged out. Here, I'm following the first pitch of the famous University Wall. Cody put in an inspiring effort leading this wet, overhanging OW slot. Good on ya, buddy!

A bug-eyed view of town, from the Chief.

The Chief, from town. Both the U-wall and the Grand Wall climb up the first two thirds of the right side (and then traverse off a ledge).

Cody leading a stemming pitch high on U-wall. Lots of stemming on that route.

Finishing U-wall. We attempted a harder "variation" (actually the original aid line), the Shadows pitch (12d). Like a bi-polar supermodel, it drew me in with it's aesthetic perfection, and then denied me with it's fickle, ungrasp-able nature. Or something like that.

I fell many times on the ridiculous stemming pitch, and ended up pulling on gear. Other than that, I didn't fall all day (the rest of the route is 5.12a).

After ambling down the descent trail (which is awesome: wooden stairs and trail-marking reflectors, Thanks Canada!), we ate lunch in the parking lot and re-stoked. Here we are on the Grand Wall, with Cody leading the Split Pillar.

Cody starting up "Perry's Lieback" on the Grand Wall, as the evening light gets good. We ended up finishing the route in daylight and not even breaking out headlamps on the descent. We sent Apron Strings to the Grand (10 pitches, 5.11a A0) in a total of 2 hrs and 40 min, with no simuling.
Hopefully there'll be much more Canadian sending to come. Earlier in the trip, my friend Brad and I climbed "Alaska Highway", and I can't wait to get back there to finish the "Northern Lights" linkup of AK Highway to the Calling. Gotta keep the onsight rolling!

But first, I'm headed briefly back to the States to once again join Blake, Garrett et al in some North Cascades adventure. More to come!

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